Saturday, September 30, 2006

My life is complete

I saw a starfish pee early this morning. I have seen it all now. Time to die.

I think I'll make myself some coffee first, though.

Tall, dark, handsome. No sugar because that's gross.

No cream either. I'm out.

Friday, September 29, 2006


I spent this morning regaining my senses. In the dark you can't rely upon your sight so much as your hearing and sense of space. There is a decieving amount of light in the dark. To the untrained eye, the lights on the boats blend in with others reflecting across the water, but it's always been easy for me. I struggled somewhat with the single, though. It had no stern light, so shadow boat, shadow rower, black water, black sky.

Sitting in the coach boat, we realized that though someone had put the plugs in, they had not twisted the pins in them, which meant that the boat was slowly filling up with water. Our coach wasn't pleased. She was quite vocal about it. She replaced the plugs and then started to bail out the water.

"I forgot what an incredibly calm person you are," she said.

I didn't bother to tell her about John's handy coachboat bailing method which I've been a part of more than once. It involves moving yourself and all passengers so that they are directly above the holes, pulling out the plugs and cranking the engine as fast as it will go. It's so stupid it works. That pretty much describes most of the stuff he did.

I've pretty much run out of pictures. Sorry.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

An experiment

IMG_2829_1I'm always amazed at what people search for to get to this site. Some from this week alone:

bruises on the wrist and alcohol
history of English sticky toffee pudding
what does somnambulist mean?
thrifty's chinese chews
waiting for the bathroom
restaurant dance show replace floor
horse chestnuts krafts necklace
mom's office homework fucking
huge orange fungus
erin hairdresser magicuts white rock

and then I get the usual weird sexual fetish searches, things to the tune of hairy vagina feet that make absolutely no sense to me because there's nothing at all related to them in my blog.

But the one that's really starting to surprise me is that since I wrote this post, I have had at least four searches for it each week.

Let's see if we can do it again, shall we?

Oh my darlin, oh my darlin, oh my darlin Frankenstein
You are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry, Frankenstein.

I was working with my test tubes in my laboratory fine,
When I mixed some things together and created Frankenstein.

He was ugly, he was hairy, and I nailed his head on tight,
His teeth were white and pearly and his eyes came out at night.

Dracula, he was my helper, but from him I had to part,
He cooked the steak too tough for dinner, so I drove it through his heart.

Frankenstein helped in the kitchen. He was making up a cake,
When he fell into the mixmaster and got ground up by mistake.

Baking nicely in the oven, oh the cake it turned out fine.
I told my friends that they were rasins but those lumps were Frankenstein.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

How to kill an hour, part 1

Less than impressed by the lack of spicy tuna rolls.
Fire alarm,
remain calm
enter building
eat sushi.

Next week's edition with 300% more pictures.



I'm sorry, internet. You just don't entertain me much anymore.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


IMG_3528_1So, apparently we elected someone who dresses like she was fresh out of a Tokyo strip club because we don't have any rule requiring us to have elected members that speak English and wear clothing from which one's ass doesn't hang out of both ends simultaneously.


My head is a sponge. It is absolutely saturated in mucus and snot that I can't seem to get out. Non-drowsy decongestants make me jittery and paranoid. My heart's doing aerobics and my carotid artery is threatening to jump out of my neck. I really wish I could sleep.

My parents arrived spontaneously for dinner. We ate macaroni and cheese and the tomatoes that I grow out on my balcony for lack of anything better. I've been at such a loss for cooking things lately that I've literally starved myself. I'll grow out of it eventually.

I need:
plain yoghurt
regular, drowsy decongestants
0.5 pencil lead
a life

Kathy and I are going to have a renovation party sometime this weekend. She's been talking about painting her room orange for ages and it wasn't getting done, so I figured I'd help. I got Gina and I tickets to see the Black Halos and Exit This Side at SFU this Friday. Not really my kind of music but she really likes them and she started to squeal and jump up and down when I handed her the ticket at her birthday party. I figure it would be worth it just to catch up with a friend that I haven't really seen much of in the past three years or so.

Fuck, I'm getting social in my old age.


istanbul, not constantinople


Over the weekend sometime I got hit with all sorts of accusations of misconduct and such at my student union, which, for the most part were false. Doesn't bother me a bit. But I took a lot of offense at the way that they were worded.

Though they were apparently supposed to be "questions for clarification", phrases like "you're not following your constitution" and "it's hard to admit that you've done something wrong" make it hard for me to believe that.

I see it more as inflammatory remarks from people who were former members who don't agree with the way that we're now doing things. The old group, as far as I have seen, was a clique that used student union money to do stuff among themselves to the exclusion of others. I wish that they would just piss off.

On Saturday night I had a massive nosebleed and another one yesterday afternoon. I used to have them all the time up until the age of 14 or so, but since then I've only had one or two. It bothers me because there was absolutely no apparent reason for it, and no reason for them to last in excess of two hours each. Would be different if I had been picking my nose or snorting crack or something.

I thought of something last night, as I lay awake in bed. Since I don't wear one of those fancy bracelets, there's a very real possibility that I might get hit by a car tomorrow and they'd hit me with a heavy dose of penicillan, which would kill me within hours.

I have a bracelet that explains this, of course, but I never wear it. It's ugly and old people wear them and pretty much all they say is I HAVE SOMETHING WRONG WITH MEEEE!!!!!! on them. And I don't. Not really. I guess that means I'll die.

Oh well.

I got a postcard in the mail the other day.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ever have one of those moments

... when you decide not to ask about the bruises on your friend's face because you're certain she'll lie to you?

I have so many other unrelated things to talk about right now, but they're not at the top of my mind.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Computers aren't working for me these days

This morning, as I was gradually regaining my ability to keep down solid food, my sister called me because she was having problems with her site. Apparently her site, as well as others wasn't displaying properly for her. I checked in firefox and it looked fine, but in Explorer it looked wrong. I decided to check my own blog and all the pictures were so pixellated:

uuuuuugly screencapture from explorer

It made me feel kind of sick. We decided that we couldn't do anything about because Explorer is just stupid and I'm not sure why people still use it.

So then I went to update the student union website. Because of spam and such we had switched to a new forum and I had been given power to moderate it, but until today no one had bothered to post anything. I thought I'd be the first, so I wrote a little introduction for myself and then pressed post. It showed up in the forum just nicely.

But when I went to the front page, I realized that my forum post introduction had posted itself there as well, and it was making me feel really, really self-conscious. I told someone to look at it and he said that it looked really, really awful so I checked it in Explorer and somehow or other there was a screencapture of my blog on there and I didn't upload anything.

So I screamed and shut down my computer.

The end.

Friday, September 22, 2006

This post is about eating newborn babies


So... My brand new credit card is bright green and see-through. It's the see-through part that both irritates and fascinates me. I'd post a picture of it here but that would just be dumb.

It was my last day of work, so I think I could probably say something about it, but it will have to wait. Just too tired.

My parents are in Whistler all weekend. My mom apparently walked right into a black bear, just outside a Blenz. I'm babysitting my sister and she always makes me feel really white. We both came out of the same womb, y'know, but she was purple.

Where's a purple people eater when you need it?

I was six pounds, on the button. I was sitting in front of some women on the bus the other day and they were talking about measurement. Mostly clothing measurement and how it's different between here and Europe and the rest of the world. The one lady fits bras for a living and was complaining about how someone came in looking for a 44, whatever the hell that means. Doesn't sound like something I would wear.

But then they got into talking about how we sort of have a metric system but we sort of don't because we're Canadian and we just have to be unique. So forest fires are in hectares but real estate is in acres and feet. You measure buildings and such in metres and centimetres, and water and gas in litres but I'm 5'2" and 126lbs. Weather's in celsius, cooking's in farenheight. But supposedly we're all metricallike.

Then they talked about Europeans describing themselves in kilos and centimetres, which I still haven't wrapped my head around (even though I pretend) and talk turned to babies. Babies, they decided, didn't weigh nearly enough to be weighed in kilos so that's why they're weighed in pounds. "Like, newborns are less than a kilo so it's stupid to weigh them that way," one said. (Though at 2.2lbs that sounds like one hell of a sickly baby to me.)

But I thought of a better reason. I was 6 lbs. That would be 2722 grams. You know what else comes in grams?






Thursday, September 21, 2006


IMG_4397_1Today was by far the most painful stats class yet. We're already two chapters behind in the reading list, so what does our prof do? Give long, drawn out examples of things that are self-explanitory, of course.

What I think he was trying to get at was something about how when asking people survey questions, you should make sure you word them in a way that they would understand what you mean the same way that you do.

So he started talking about how someone had to do a study on communication and sailors in the navy. They wanted to know who people would talk to if something bothered or irritated them, so they asked and ended up with really wonky results because of the way that they worded the question. What they had asked was "who do you go to when you have a grievance?" which to some people means a complaint, and to others with a good solid union background (such as myself) means a serious complaint against your employer, and the formal process that the union takes to advocate for your rights.

So far so good. Fairly relevant and on topic, until he continued:

But by "grievance" the researchers meant something more like: "I hate breakfast on this boat." "The coffee is always cold."

Good examples, those.

"And it tastes like mud."
"They must have made it out of dishwater or something."
"And the eggs."
"Are there really any eggs in those things?"
"Sure, they're yellow and all..."

Got the picture a long time ago. But wait, there's more!

"But they have the same texture as oatmeal."
"Oatmeal that has been boiled every day for three months."

And on and on and on only to get into an argument with our ta about how he was wasting time, and then breezing through all sorts of things that really badly needed more explanation.

And now we're three chapters behind schedule. Joy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006



Best picture I've seen all day.

Two more days of work left and I'm glad. I'm starting to feel redundant, but that's the point. I explain things over and over, and over and over. It would never take that much explaining to train me but I persist. She's catching on, gradually. People tell me I'm such a patient person. Too bad it doesn't seem to get me anywhere.

Up until today I'd forgotten just how much I liked Back to the Future. I love that movie.

I wish people would stop calling me in the middle of class.

I really badly want to say something interesting and relevant to anything but I just don't have it in me today. Too tired. I know that I was going to stay up so I could talk to some people but I just can't tonight. Been doing that too much lately.

Been having trouble sleeping as well. Same old, same old. Toss and turn and lay in weird positions in the hopes that they will unlock the key to somnolence. Drift off only to wake up in a panic because you can't remember if you set your alarm or not which in turn ends up being another hour and a half that you resort to mental massochism for lack of anything better to do.

Why is it that the collective parental unit always seems to arrive when a) I'm not home and b) my apartment just happens to be a big mess? Why can't they come over when I've actually done the dishes for once?

worst. most disjointed. post. ever.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Time for more reading...

IMG_4379_1So, I was just sitting in the common room, minding my own business when someone walked in and asked "okay, which one of you is Erin?" at which point I both raised my hand and attempted to hide behind my computer. Evidently my fame precedes me.

The sad thing is that it's purely online fame. In person I'm a very forgetable person. We've probably met before, but you don't remember. Remember?

Callan has come to the realization that for the past six or eight years or so I've put far less effort into school than him and managed to end up with substantially better results. He's decided that maybe he would do better if he copies my notes in class, so now I sit with him constantly looking over my shoulder. I don't mind, that is, until he begins to whisper in my ear...

"What does proliferation mean?"
which I defined as the spread and distribution of things both through direct and indirect means
"So why didn't you just say that?"
because "proliferation" is a better word and in my notes, at least, I like to be parsimonious
"Parsimonious? What the fuck? What does assiduous mean?"
fuck off and write your own notes
in your own words

You can only get so far by hanging off of others' coattails. Especially when you're preventing me from listening to the prof. Luckily he doesn't do it for very long before he leans back and resigns himself to not understanding anything. "Fucking genius," he'll whisper in my ear, and during the break, he'll innocently forget to share any of his curly fries with me.

Bastard. I don't eat fries, but it's a matter of principle.

Monday, September 18, 2006

That's all, folks


6:10 Drag self out of bed.

6:11 Spend a moment standing naked in front of the mirror, noticing that overnight you've developed a large wrinkle running vertically between your breasts.

6:12 Assume that it was probably because you ended up sleeping in 3/4 prone again, sort of half on your front but half on your side and on top of your arm so that it was all tingly when you finally woke up and thought to roll over.

6:13 Realize that you have no time for this at all and get into the shower.

6:23 Emerge from the shower and into a dramatic monologue about politics, colonialism, class struggle or women's issues.

6:24 Comb out hair. Shed all over the place.

6:25 Notice that the wrinkle is gone.

6:26 Realize that one day that wrinkle won't be gone. There are some things that even showering can't iron out.

train ⇒ work ⇒ bus ⇒ school ⇒ meeting ⇒ bus ⇒ home ⇒ study ⇒ bed

lather rinse repeat.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Culinary exploits


It seems that every time we're in the neighbourhood, we decide that we'll stop in at the Clayburn General Store for lunch, and every time we pass by, it seems to be closed for some reason. Today we were pleasantly surprised to find it up and running.

Clayburn used to be a company town, built around a brick factory. Today pretty much all that remains there is the store, which is a neat little place filled with antiques. Half of it is a tea house, and the other half a candy store. I ended up with a nice spot of darjeeling and the ploughman's lunch, which is pretty simple: cheese, bread, butter, pickles. It doesn't look like much when it comes out on the plate but it's surprisingly filling.


My sister is quite enamoured with the sticky toffee pudding that you can get there, but we didn't stay for desert.

While we were busy flying around at the Pitt Meadows airport last month we happened to hear that the Chilliwack airport has the best pie in the world. Wondering if there was truth to such an outrageous claim, we decided to investigate.


My first observation was that the cafe serves a rather wide variety of pies. My second was that as the slogan of the place implies, people fly in from all over the place, just to eat there. We watched one man taxi up the tarmac and park his biplane right in front of the window. Apparently he had come a hundred miles for a piece of rhubarb pie. Unfortunately for him, they were out.


I ordered some raspberry peach pie and I must say that it put to shame every other piece of pie I've ever had. Absolutely delicious.

My grandmother used to live out in Chilliwack General Hospital and every time we went out to visit, there was never anywhere worth eating out there. I wish we had known. We could have tried all the flavours by now.

Saturday, September 16, 2006



Ended up sitting beside George on the bus today.

He wrote his own concerto once, sometime when we were 17. I've never heard the entire thing come to fruition but he played an excerpt for me on his violin. George always plays lead violin, always wears a suit while doing it. Don't let the suit fool you, though. There is something that happens somewhere in the combination of his fingers, strings and catgut that is a tad magical. It's someone else that sings out, someone who has no words, just feeling.

George is very soft-spoken. I'm not sure exactly how long he's been living here, but his English is flawless. Every word carefully chosen, exact, to the point. Nothing out of place. He's not one to say rash things that he doesn't mean, because everything has been quietly preconsidered. He must have memorized half the dictionary to be able to speak the way he does.

Give him enough time and he'll figure out any puzzle, or formula, or equation, or concept, or text. He will present the solution to anything to you in layman's terms with as much diplomacy as anything else. He's clearly better than you, but he doesn't care to mention it. It doesn't even register.

He got an internship, of sorts, in a lab over the summer, where he counted worms.

He counted worms. He measured worms. He catalogued worms. He disected worms. He modified and spliced the dna of worms.

If only George could find it in himself to give up science for arts, he could save the world. I really believe that.

note: at my school arts is economics, sociology, anthropology, psychology, criminology, history, political science, linguistics, philosophy, humanities, english, foreign languages, women's studies, history, community economic development, labour studies and dialogue

ie. the study of people

Though, I'm cooler than all those people because I'm a communications major, which is an applied science. :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

And that was Wednesday

For the past few weeks I've been only working part time because of school, and so I've been a lot more busy. That I can handle, mostly. Things have been taking me a little longer to do, but everything that is absolutely essential has been getting done. I can be very efficient when I want to be and I think the volume of work that I can pump out when pressed is starting to scare our database person, especially when I dump it into her inbox.

It's actually nice going from full time to part time, because you can use that excuse to make the co-op student do all your filing and mailing for you. True, some days I have had absolutely no time to do that stuff anyways, but there have also been a couple where I haven't had much to do other than nap, which I confess I've done on more than one occasion, not always voluntarily. Well, I could have done filing, but fuck filing. I've had enough of it.

I found out today that there have been a couple of people holding back work from me for a while, assuming that I was completely swamped. I wish I had known. If nothing else, I could have prepared some of it in some sort of logical and coherent way to be able to train the person who is going to replace me a little easier.

This on the job training thing has been a gongshow from the start.IMG_1013_1

She arrived yesterday, and because they knew that I can only stay a couple hours each day because of school, they plopped her down in front of me and expected me to show her everything I knew.

Little did I know that some very nice, helpful people had decided to help clear up some of the backlog that they're convinced I've been swimming in, now that I've been working part time for the past two weeks instead of full. The problem there being that no one else in the office knows exactly what I do or how I do it and no one bothered to talk to me before going ahead with it, and so the work that they had done was sort of half completed and gimpy.

Needless to say I spent the first half hour of my morning with the new girl trying to figure out what the hell had been done with my work while she looked on, confused. When I finally decided what still needed to be done, I began to show her. However, I wish that everyone else had just left everything alone so I could show her the process from start to finish, rather than from steps 5-8, but oh yeah, looks like someone left out number 2 so we'll just do that too.

So I ended up showing her a mishmash of random crap and explaining a lot of stuff when ideally I would have been doing it with her instead. Even at that, we didn't really complete anything before I had to leave.

It was just as I was about to escape out the door that I found out that the poor girl hadn't been given any sort of orientation yet and didn't even know the most basic things like where the washroom was, or where to get more supplies for her desk. Or where to meet outside if there was a fire or an earthquake.

Or even what the whole office does and why it exists.

It was at that moment that I realized that no one had bothered to go over any of the specialized terminology that we use in that office, reducing everything I had said for the past three and a half hours to unintelligable babble. Fuck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I met the most delightful tourist on the bus today. I don't often say these things about Americans.

He's come from California to learn about Smart cars. He used to sell Hondas before he retired, but now he wants to go back into business, maybe as the first dealer of Smart cars in the US. They don't have Smart cars in America? Well, apparently not.

He said he was surprised that the weather was so warm and pleasant here. He had packed a heavy coat in his bag and it hadn't come out yet. Was he really so surprised, I asked, since he probably knew how the weather was in Seattle? Well, of course he knew what it was like in Seattle, but Canada's supposed to be cold. We Americans don't think, you know. It's not something we're good at.

But he was enjoying his time here, yessir. Even just the plane ride in over the mountains was enough to tell him that he would like this city. They've got all this art and those waterfalls in the airport too. Very inviting.

His plans? He was going to go to the Museum of Anthropology. Did this bus go there? No, not really. I'd try the B-line if I were him. No matter, he had to drop some things off at his hotel. A friend offered to drive him, but he'd rather take the bus. You meet more people that way, you know. You see more things too, and then the people you meet tell you to see more things that you hadn't thought of.

Had he been to Grouse Mountain? Bus 28, I think, but don't quote me on that. Is it Gross as in g-r-o-s-s? Nope, grouse, like the bird. But maybe not tomorrow though. It's going to rain.

No matter. He's here to enjoy himself and he's going to do it. But yessir, he's going to get back into the business again. Spent some time reading Socrates, doing some introspection and now he's up and at her.

He had such a positive and endearing personality that I liked him right away. And just as he was getting off the bus, he thanked me for being so nice to him, leaving me to wonder why. Is it that he's heard that Vancouverites are naturally cold, aloof bastards, or was it that he was black? I will never know, but I wish him the best of luck.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


My ta Rob looks a lot like Terje Vinterstø, and by that I mean the Skambankt Terje ^

and not the Kaizers Terje. ^

The hat, in all things, is essential. Tis just not the same without it.

I once had a 14 year old girl offer to package Terje up and send him to me expresspost from Norway. I told her that out of consideration for him he should be packed in bubble wrap so he wouldn't get hurt on the journey over, and also so that he would have something to do inside the box. However, he'd have to be under strict orders to finish popping all of the bubble wrap before he arrived because I fucking hate bubble wrap.

Though, in retrospect I probably should have asked her to send an ashtray too, because I don't have one and Mr. Vinterstø smokes far, far too much. Tsk tsk.

I don't think Rob smokes. He just writes theses about American intervention and interference with broadcast media in the Middle East and America's attempts to gain popular support through propaganda.

Me? I'm reading a book about postcolonialism right now. It's making me feel like a dirty sonofabitch because I'm white, but I think I can safely say that I've felt that way for most of my life. Good book. I'm enjoying it.

Monday, September 11, 2006



I keep saying to myself that I should make this blog more random, include more of my own drawings, photos from daily life, links, clippings from elsewhere but I never do. I wonder why.

Looking back in my archives, this time last year my mother's father, Old Weird Harold died, which had little impact on anything at all.

Last April I wrote something about having a dream and wanting to have someone who I could tell all my secrets to. Someone who had no prior knowledge of me, my reputation, my family, my friends, my town. I've always felt very pidgeonholed by what people expect of me. I'm very used to getting strange looks when I speak my mind or attempt to be myself, because people seem to think I'm a much different person.

Then strangely enough, last year around this time I got exactly what I asked for. Sometimes life works out in mysterious ways. Mysterious ways that conspire against all odds to keep me sane. There is no rational way to explain it so I won't bother.

I can't tell you how nice it is to start from scratch. It's not an opportunity you get often, especially not for me. Even the weirdest things to come out of your mouth are completely normal, because there's no reason for anyone to think anything different. All they know is what you tell them, what you've said in the past.

And yet even with that I can't seem to loosen up completely. I've been asked a certain simple question more than once now, and each time I put off answering because to me, it's not simple at all. The closest I got was a halfwritten email that is now sitting in my drafts collecting dust. By the time I had finished 1200 words or so, I could not stop the tears rolling down my cheeks and gave up. I cried for about half an hour and once I had stopped, I brushed my teeth in the dark so I wouldn't have to look at myself. But once in bed I cried for another two hours straight and spent the rest of the night tossing and turning, only to get up in the morning looking like hell. So much so, that people at work pointed to my swollen eyelids and asked if I was contageous.

I guess I'll do it later.

Also around this time last year I had a heated debate with a classmate who I was unfortunately stuck doing a project on communication via the internet with. She insisted that communication via the internet was only good for the simple transmission of information, limited to the cold hard facts and could not possibly be used for anything more personal than that, and I was unable to agree with her. As a result, our project suffered because we didn't take a stance or make any sort of argument at all.

I still think, though, that any sort of interactive medium is to a great degree, what you make of it. That is, if people have the desire and the drive, they can overcome a lot of the limitations of any sort of technology. But what would I know? I'm most likely delusional.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I draw pictures sometimes

newspaper bird

I have been putting some thought into what I should be for Halloween. It's pretty hard not to, when Haloween decorations have been in stores for what feels like forever already.

I remember there was one year when everyone I knew went as something dead. Dead man. Dead prom date. Dead French maid. Dead cheerleader. Dead doctor. I was impressed by their overwhelming originality.

Me? I try to be a little creative. Doesn't always work out but I try. In the past I've been a Roman woman, the Madonna of the Rocks, a supreme court lawyer, and the kind of old lady that pinches your cheeks. Last year I got lazy and wore a hideous dress without any explanation whatsoever.

I figure this year I could go as a Greek statue. I'd paint my skin white and walk around naked. Wouldn't be that difficult to do, and I'd definitely get points for originality.

My other idea is that I could go as the spirit of Sir John A. MacDonald. I wouldn't have to look like him, really. I'd just have to down a mickey of whiskey and vomit on the floor of Parliament, declaring that Liberals make me sick. Then I'd found the country and build one big-assed railway. Then, to keep things accurate, I'd pass out.

What do you think?

Dalai Lama visit


The little Tibetan kid who played traditional songs on the guitar-like instrument while dancing around was absolutely awesome. The little rockstar got quite a bit of applause.

After he and the rest of the ensemble had finished, Kevin Newman said he was pleased to announce His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. There was a standing ovation, and then nothing.

Everyone stood there in silence, waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. Then all of a sudden someone began to sing the only song we all knew: O Canada. By the end, nearly everyone was singing. I wish I could say it was monumental, or something but it wasn't really. We were just killing time.

Kevin disappeared backstage for a few minutes, then returned for introduction attempt number two. This time it worked and His Holiness took the stage much as he did last time he came to Vancouver, only this time as a Canadian citizen.

His message doesn't change much. You have to be the change you want to see in the world. Care, compassion, kindness, tolerance. Doesn't get much more complicated than that, but people can't seem to keep things simple, can they?

It's always interesting to see the cross section of people at these things. You've got the old and the young, the educated, the students, activists, the holy, the exiled, the curious. Oh, and the guys that my mother refers to as "crystal-packing mamas". I don't think I need to say more about that.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Amateur anthropology


Instead of us bringing housewarming gifts to her, somehow or other Gina ended up unloading a great deal of her collection of stale, holiday-themed candy on us.

Standing at the bus stop with a large stack of last year's advent calendars, we had no choice but to choose an unsuspecting victim. The poor unfortunate soul was waiting for the same bus as us. He was a tad grubby around the edges, with a tad more than a five-o-clock shadow. "This is for you," Andy said, handing him an advent calendar.

The guy looked puzzled, so he had to explain what it was. "How much do I pay you?" the man asked, in some sort of accent. "It's free," Andy explained, "I'm giving it to you." The man perked up at this revelation and began to shake Andy's hand vigorously.

Ah yes, The Gift. Marcel Mauss. Essai sur le don. Forme et raison de l'échange dans les sociétés archaïques, 1923. So much can be accomplished by so little, a simple exchange of goods.

The man soon went back to looking just as uncomfortable around us dumbasses as he had before.

Nothing sobers you up better than the long bus ride home.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The ninja turtles

the ninja turtles


These guys practice some sort of martial arts on the lawn below my window, twice a week, rain or shine during all seasons of the year. The number is always changing, but there is always a minimum of four, and occasionally a woman in the mix. They wear those cool ninja shoes that separate your big toe from the rest and they fight with each other in very slow motion.

They spend a lot of time finding new, creative ways to fall on the ground or flip over each other. I wish I had a picture of that instead to show you.

We call them the ninja turtles.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First day of school

IMG_4345_1My stats prof sounds like a nice enough guy, but as far as the most boring people I've ever met, he's duelling for third, or so. I have to give him credit, though. At least he tries.

He made a sad attempt at a joke about how we should keep our phones on vibrate, and not bring vibrators to school because if you talk into them, no one will answer. The people in the room sat silent, wondering whether or not to laugh.

He then proceeded to explain what made a good calculator. "It needs these buttons," he said, as everyone picked up their pens to copy it down. He began to write the numbers 0-9 and +-x on the overhead projector as people began to giggle. The long and short? The million dollar calculator that I had to buy for a lousy three months of math 11 is too cool for school. Literally.

His lecture slides are all acompanied by sound effects when they change. Unless your prof has actual skill making presentations, this is at best really corny. When he flipped to a slide with a picture of a scientist, some music began to play which sounded much like the cheezy cliche aliens-are-landing kind of music. And it played, and played and played. It went on and on for what felt like at least a minute, far longer than any lecture note sound effect should.

At some point my suppressed laughter came out as a snort, and unfortunately for the back of the head in front of me, I had a bit of a runny nose at the time.

Nonchalant, I put my hand up to my face and leaned over to the person next to me. "Non-stop excitement, eh?" I think I said. Yeah, I'm cool.

Monday, September 04, 2006


Alison just called. She's back from her tour of world domination to take stats with me. Halelujah.

Someone just arrived at my site by searching for "where can i buy testicles from a bull?" My answer to that is that it is likely that the number of bulls willing to give up their testicles freely and willingly for any amount of money is probably pretty low. It's a guy thing. However, I'm told that they rather enjoy castrating cattle in Alberta, so that's where I'd look. It kind of puts a middleman into things, but meh.

I think I may have found the source of the fruit flies in my apartment. I figure it'll take a day or two for me to know for sure.

I'm out of milk, and have been for a week. Hopefully putting that in here will remind me to get off my lazy ass and buy some more.

I have to work early tomorrow morning before school. I don't know why I agreed to that. Sometimes I'm too altruistic for my own good. Must go to bed now.

Or now.


Good night.



I was thinking last night just before I went to bed about the word fallow. In agriculture fallow is a good thing. If you take a field and leave it to its own devices for a year, choosing not to plant it, it's supposed to be good for the soil. The soil is less likely to become exhausted and it is less likely to harbour both pests and crop disease. Fallow is a good thing.

But not for people. If you stop using your body, stop exercising, your muscles will atrophy. You lose your stamina, flexibility and health. If you stop using your brain it atrophies as well. Little bits of your memory go and you begin to have difficulty connecting certain concepts that you used to not have trouble with.

The only really good thing about lying fallow is that the word implies a latent creativity somewhere. Some sort of good things yet to happen, lying under the surface. Good things to come, but only for the dirt.

I think about these things at night sometimes. Too bad that it means I usually can't sleep.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


September 2, 2006 010_1

Instead of sending me pictures from the show, my sister sent me a picture of me and this horse. Beggars can't be choosers. I'm sure that at some point she'll post some pictures on her blog, which is fine.

They look like concert pictures: some guys on stage with instruments and fancy lights, fog machines and love projected in their general direction. Only the some guys were Great Big Sea. Great Big Sea plays good concerts, better than their albums. There's always lots of jumping up and down, clapping and singing along, and the discussion of nude badminton as a recreational activity with some rather adorable Newfie accents. Accordions. The sexies bodhran player in the world. You know. That stuff.

They were good. It was fun, but I can't help thinking that they seemed a little tired last night. They had a lot of energy, but not quite the amount that they usually have. Slightly shorter set, too. I hope it was just a one-off thing and not a permanent change.

To my surprise and dismay, the opening act was the exact same guy as last time they played Malkin Bowl, only he looked less homeless. The music was the same though, and I didn't like it much the first time. I can only take so much acoustic country rap and the first time was more than enough.

Apparently my camera is a "professional" camera. Don't I feel special? That meant a big fight at the gate to get in. In all the times I've been to the Malkin Bowl, that is the first time that they have been so anal about confiscating crap from people. The nice thing about the Malkin Bowl is that you've always been able to take your camera and food and umbrellas with you, but apparently no longer. It would have been nice if there had been a head's up on the website when everyone bought their tickets.

This was the first time I'd ever had problems of that nature at that particular venue, though, to be fair, the last time I saw a show there my bag contained my wallet, a couple tampons and a sea urchin. Don't ask.

To say dinner was a disappointment would be an understatement. The restaurant at the Stanley Park Pavilion is obviously under new management and I already complained about it on Metro Vancouver. Did I tell you that I wrote for Metro Vancouver? I'm a bigger geek than you thought.

That was yesterday. Today I didn't do much worth mentioning. Some days are like that.

Fuck, that was a lukewarm post. I enjoyed myself yesterday, honestly.

Check out Wildlife. It's pretty cool.

Friday, September 01, 2006



I was at the intersection of Dunsmuir and Hornby when all of a sudden a bit of history stared me in the face. Well, not really in the face. She was across the street, facing me, waiting to cross in the opposite direction I was. I crossed the street in the other direction, even though it was out of my way, just to avoid her.

She used to wait for times when I'd be alone. There was one hallway that people rarely went in our school, because that was where Mrs. Stevens had her special class for the behavioural kids. I used to cut through there sometimes at lunch because it was a shorter way to the playground. She'd find me, grab me and slam me into a wall, usually into a radiator, so I'd be off balance. She'd get angry because I didn't ever come over to play. She'd slam me into the wall another couple of times, then she'd start to choke me and she wouldn't let go until I promised to go over to her house.

But the worst part was her breath. She used to put her nose almost right up to mine while she was talking and breathe in my face. She had a breath that could kill a horse. I could stand being beaten up but her bad breath was enough to break me. I'd give in every time just to get her to stop breathing on me, though I never ever went over to play.

But I knew that the worst was always yet to come, because as soon as I consented to a playdate, she would smile and her tone would become disgustingly saccarine. And before releasing me, she'd give me a big sloppy wet kiss.

I would feel really dirty for the rest of the day.

I wouldn't bother telling any of the teachers because I knew that because she had a disability, she could do no wrong, and wasn't really responsible for anything that she did. And besides, who wants to admit that they get beaten up regularly by a retard?

And none of this I remembered until I saw her on the street. Kind of makes you wonder if I've blocked anything else out over the years, eh?